Article and recipe by Robin Kerber

At Misty Brook Farm, we believe that humanely raising veal is a vital part of a healthy dairy farm. If you drink dairy, the responsible thing to do is also eat veal. Every year a cow has a calf in order to keep the milk flowing. About half of these calves are bull calves, and while most dairies sell their bull calves as soon as possible, we raise them here for either veal or beef.  On our farm we raise all the calves and give them the best life possible. When it comes to raising animals for meat, we like to say: they will have one bad day, or even just one bad moment, on this earth. We take pride in filling all their days with healthy soil and feed, plenty of sunlight and respect.

Our veal calves are called rose veal because of their color. The calves are all raised on their mothers or nurse moms. They are rotationally grazed with their moms and have plenty of sunshine. With all this great food and attention, our Jersey bull calves make superb rose veal. The veal is delicate in taste compared to beef and takes seasoning well.

This recipe is rich and savory, but the flavors are subtle enough to not mask the delicate flavor of the veal. Enjoy with polenta, pasta, or any grain side!

Veal Stew with Lemon Polenta

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 lb veal stew meat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb salted butter
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups red wine
  • 2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Tb fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tb fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tb Italian parsley, chopped (save 1 tb for garnish)
  • 4 cups water, broth, or stock
  • 1 cup Italian cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tb finely grated lemon zest, half used for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a enamel cast iron casserole pot, heat 1 Tb of the olive oil
  2. Add veal, salt and pepper
  3. Cook over high heat until browned, then remove from pot
  4. Add 1 Tb butter to pot and put over medium heat
  5. Add celery, onion, carrot and tomato paste                      
  6. Cook until softened, then add wine and tomatoes
  7. Reduce down until thick, then add fresh rosemary, thyme, and 1 Tb of the parsley
  8. Add cooked veal meat and turn heat down to a very low simmer
  9. Cook until veal is tender, simmering and covered for about 1 hour
  10. For polenta, bring liquid to a boil
  11. Slowly whisk in cornmeal                                             
  12. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes, switching to a wooden spoon when polenta becomes thick
  13. Season with salt, pepper, and half of lemon zest
  14. Serve hot veal stew with cornmeal, garnished with lemon zest and remaining parsley